Even in relatively simple applications, writing out the same types of database queries over and over can get tedious. To make things easier and your code DRYer, UserFrosting takes advantage of Laravel's excellent object-relation mapper, Eloquent.


    By default, UserFrosting creates a default database connection, and handles basic configuration through environment variables.

    These values are, in turn, retrieved through the db key in your configuration files. For advanced database configuration, or to add additional database connections, you can directly override this key or subkeys in your Sprinkle's configuration file:

    // In your custom config file
    return [
        'db'      =>  [
            'default' => [
                'driver'    => 'postgres'
            'nestdb' => [
                'driver'    => 'sqlite',
                'host'      => getenv('NESTDB_HOST'),
                'database'  => getenv('NESTDB_HOST'),
                'username'  => getenv('NESTDB_HOST'),
                'password'  => getenv('NESTDB_HOST'),
                'charset'   => 'utf8',
                'collation' => 'utf8_unicode_ci',
                'prefix'    => ''

    Data models

    Eloquent works by having you define model classes. Generally speaking, each model maps to a table in your database. Interactions with the table are then handled through the corresponding model.

    UserFrosting has already implemented all of the models needed for interacting with its default tables. These can be found in the src/Model/ subdirectories of your sprinkles. Among the three default Sprinkles (core, account, and admin), UserFrosting implements:

    • Throttle
    • Activity
    • Group
    • PasswordReset
    • Permission
    • Role
    • User
    • Verification
    • Version

    Using models

    Eloquent implements an active record pattern, which means that it represents each row in a table as an instance of the corresponding model class.


    To insert a new row into a table, you create an instance of the corresponding object class and then call its save method:

    use UserFrosting\Sprinkle\Account\Model\User;
    $user = new User([
        'user_name' => 'david',
        'first_name' => 'David',
        'last_name' => 'Attenborough',
        'email' => '[email protected]'

    Notice that the User class is in a namespace. To reference it correctly, we need to either specify the fully qualified path in a use statement at the top of our file, or explicitly reference it in our code as \UserFrosting\Sprinkle\Account\Model\User.


    Records can be fetched from the database using Eloquent's sophisticated query builder. This is typically done by calling a static method on the corresponding model class:

    use UserFrosting\Sprinkle\Account\Model\User;
    // Returns a Collection of User objects
    $users = User::where('num_owls', '>', 2)->get();
    // Iterate over the collection
    foreach ($users as $user) {
        echo $user->first_name . "<br>";

    The query builder allows us to "chain" various criteria for a query, generating and executing a (usually) single query at the end. For example, the method where() allows us to filter the user table by the value of a column. If we then chain this with the get() method, we'll get a collection of Users filtered by that criteria.

    If our model implements a relationship, we can also fetch related models through the query builder:

    use UserFrosting\Sprinkle\Account\Model\User;
    // Returns a Collection of User objects, each of which contains its own Collection of Owls
    $users = User::with('owls')->get();

    Now, each User's Owls can be accessed via $user->owls.


    To update a row, simply fetch it from the database, modify the desired properties of the object, and then call save() to update with the new values:

    use UserFrosting\Sprinkle\Account\Model\User;
    $david = User::where('user_name', 'david')->first();
    $david->email = '[email protected]';


    Call delete on the active record object:

    use UserFrosting\Sprinkle\Account\Model\User;
    $user = User::where('user_name', 'chuck703')->first();

    Advanced usage

    We've only touched on the very basics of how Eloquent and the query builder work. You will likely want to learn how to define relationships between models, encapsulate longer queries, and perform more advanced queries, for example. For this, we urge you to spend some time reading through Laravel's excellent documentation.